Thursday, September 11, 2008

Booking Through Villiany

Do real-world catastrophes such as 9/11 (and the bombs in Madrid, and the ones in London, and the war in Darfur, and … really, all the human-driven, mass loss-of-life events) affect what you choose to read?

India is not new to terrorists or terrorism. We have had it in the Kashmir region for more than three decades. We have cried hoarse about it to the world at large but no one listened to us. Only after 9/11 happened, US woke up to the fact that it was very real and they were also a part of it in the larger view of things. I wouldn't like to dwell on the political stance about US for the middle east. That is not relevant to this topic.What is relevant here is, how can anyone kill innocent people? That is hard to understand. But then terrorists have no feelings or sentiments. For them we are faceless and nothing can come between their brain-washed beliefs. At one point or other, powerful countries (I don't need to name those) have created terrorists to counteract terrorism. And it has only backfired. Have we really learnt any lessons from those? The state that the world is in, apparently not.

For me terrorism is very real. It is there at every corner. Especially for those who live in Delhi. Twice I have been in the vicinity of terror attacks, only saved by God knows how. For the last thirty years or so, we have terrorists killing people in the Kashmir region. Every day. And bomb blasts elsewhere are not uncommon. Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Varanasi, Hyderabad are just a few places I mention here, which have been affected by terrorism and blasts. Recent ones took place in Ahmedabad which left 50+ dead. We cannot move anywhere without security check up. All this does take a toll.

And now taking on reading. I can read about terrorists, I can even watch movies too. (However, if something like this happens, I go off reading completely for a while. Any kind of reading). Nonetheless, I think all of us need to read about terror attacks, terrorists and terrorism. If only to understand the whys and hows of it. Trying to escape the reality of it is not going to let it go. I need to understand how a terrorists' mind works. Because I can't get over all those people who are dead for no reason at all. Terrorists simply do not need any reason to kill. They just do it. Cliches simply do not work here. Religion, faith has no meaning when one is left dead and/or maimed, in body, mind or spirit.

And in the midst of it all, please do remember that the world is much beyond US and has faced terrorism much before 9/11.

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